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Owning a dog

(from a dog's viewpoint)

  1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
  3. Place your trust in me - it is crucial for my well-being.
  4. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you!
  5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
  7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I've been out in the sun too long or my heart may be getting old and weak.
  9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
  10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch it," or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.

    © Stan Rawlinson 1998 Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer www.doglistener.co.uk 0208 979 2019


First Year (Puppies) Each
Food $400 $400
Distemper/Parvo Inocs $60 $15 (1yr booster)
Rabies Inoculation $20 (1 yr.) $5 (3yr booster)
Worming $25 $10 (worm check)
Spaying or neutering* $55 N/A
Heartworm test/preventative $50 $50
Licensing $10 $10
Accessories (leash/collar/toys) $100 $75
Emergency Vet care $250 $250
TOTAL $970 $815

*costs will vary depending on charges by individual veterinarians
**average Friends of Animals rate through a participating veterinarian

The above costs do not include any initial adoption fee or purchase cost for the animal. Assuming the average lifespan of a dog is ten years, the estimated cost of owning a dog for its lifetime is over $8300.

Owning a pet is often a wonderful experience; however, it requires responsibility and commitment from the owner. Understanding these responsibilities is essential to acquiring a dog and should always be a family decision. Research the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed characteristics to ensure that you get a dog that is appropriate for your lifestyle. It is very important to think about whether you are willing to commit the time, effort and expense required for its proper care before you acquire a dog, not after the dog is in your home!!


  • proper food and shelter
  • annual inoculations/tests/checkups
  • neutering/spaying
  • adequate attention and safe exercise
  • care while you vacation/travel
  • known allergies of family members
  • initial and ongoing training
  • licensing
  • medical emergency costs
  • preventing your pet from wandering or becoming a nuisance to others
  • a ten year commitment (or more!)

You really loved him.
He was a real one-man dog. Sure, he'd wander sometimes, but that was part of his masculine charm. You wouldn't think of having him altered. You thought is might change his personality. You were wrong. Dead wrong.

Most of the pets killed on our roads are unaltered males. Most of the Chessies in rescue are young, unaltered males. When you alter your pet you don't change his masculine charm. You allow him to ignore the urge to dash across that busy street. With the urges in control, he'll be happy to stay at home with you....Happy to be a real one-man dog.


  • Keep your dog healthy - physically and mentally
    You need to provide food, water, shelter, exercise, training, and vet care. But, dogs aren't called housepets for nothing; inside the house is where they belong. Dogs should never be left for long periods of time - they crave companionship and should stay in the house with the family whenever possible. This is the nature of dogs.
  • A one-time surgery, A lifetime benefit
    Spaying or neutering your dog is the single most important step you can take to be a responsible pet owner. The result is that your dog will no longer be able to bring more homeless animals into the world. Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates the possibility of several cancers and prostate disorders - spayed and neutered dogs live longer, healthier lives and make better, more affectionate companions.
  • Obey the law, Protect your dog
    No matter how careful you are, there's always the chance that you'll lose your dog. License and put an ID tag on your dog before a problem occurs.
  • Exercise Restraint
    An essential rule is: Off property, On leash. When not confined to your property, your dog MUST be under control.
  • A lifetime commitment
    Dogs tied or kenneled out in the backyard for long periods of time, crated inside all day or exercised only at their owners' convenience are neglected dogs that are likely to develop serious behavioral problems. It's up to you to provide your dog a "lifetime guarantee" for love, attention and care.

- credit for these materials other than the 10 Commandments to The American Kennel Club, The Humane Society of the United States, Dog World (Nov. 1997), SPCA of Texas (Dallas), Community Animal Programs (Herkimer County, NY).